Total Health: Chemicals of the Soul
By Jaqueline Lapa Sussman
Total Health Magazine – February 2005
What is health?
Total health involves one’s mind, body and spirit. The mind engages in subtle, complex and powerful interaction with the body, so it comes as no surprise that emotional and mental wellbeing are directly linked to physical health. We may try to eat a healthy diet, take supplements, and get enough exercise, but if we are not happy, our inner spirit is not in tune, and if we experience turmoil and friction in our soul, we are on the road to illness. Symptoms of illness are signals that there is something amiss, that we are divided from the deeper intimations of our souls intentions.
The physical body does not break down at random, unaffected by the condition of one’s inner self. Health requires being in a state of wholeness. To be “whole” or, “healthy”, means that our thoughts and feelings are in harmony with each other. We are not riddled with conflicts, but are true to what our insides are telling us. How we treat others also affects our health, as the definition for “wholesomeness”, a word related to wholeness, is defined as “promoting moral well-being” and “based on openness and honesty”. “Disease”, on the other hand, literally means being ill at ease. It describes an inner condition of turmoil or conflict or feeling split within. Interestingly the word, “holy”, which is also relates to wholeness, is defined as, “of a unique character, evoking reverence”. This describes a person who not only is whole within himself but, induces a sense of wholeness or holiness in others. So, physical health cannot be separated from one’s mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
The soul or spirit is characterized variously: by Hinduism as the divine Self, by Buddhism as the product of conditions and causes, and in Judaism, Christianity and Islam as the core of the individual person partaking of his or her choices and deeds. However one defines the soul, traditional wisdom through the ages has taught that physical health requires living in accordance with the soul’s deepest intentions. For example, Native American’s lives and rituals were oriented to bring individuals, the community, and all of the natural and spiritual world, (including the earth, plants, animals, and spirits) into harmonious balance. They knew the secret of living in holiness and reverence with nature and each other, in order to walk in beauty. They saw the oneness of all of life. Buddhism teaches that sickness is derived from a process of misunderstanding from “beginningless time”. Illness arises from the passions that result from unreal mental constructions that separate us from a unified core to all existence. According to the Buddhists, the elimination of egoism and possessiveness heals the split at the core of the soul, resulting in peace and equanimity. Similarly, the Jews have made the connection between the soul and health very clear by saying, ” If you cleanse your soul, you will live.” And Christ added, “A house divided cannot stand. “
Soul and science:
These religious and philosophical principles have been confirmed by science. Body and mind function as one continuous interrelated flow of chemicals and electrical signals. The field of psychoneuroimmunology studies the correlation between stress, negative thought, emotions, trauma and disease. Extensive research has demonstrated that the brain responds to negative or conflicting thoughts by releasing stress chemicals. These, in turn, negatively affect the body and its organs, creating a host of symptoms. Conversely, positive and harmonious thoughts release chemical responses that heal and restore the body. Thus, the way to health is to live in a positive and wholesome manner that reveres all of life and its sacredness. To live a soulful life full of love, generosity, wisdom, and compassion releases a flow of deeply healing neurological and chemical signals, thereby inducing health, wellbeing and longevity.
We may not be consciously aware of the root cause of our illness. At times, self-doubt or powerlessness resulting from a past trauma may prevent us from living according to our souls deeper intentions. Beliefs absorbed from our parents or society may cause conflict. Our disease may be rooted in narcissism, arrogance, greed, or materialism. When our personality and soul are at odds, whatever the reason, we cannot stand unified or strong. We begin to deteriorate and cannot maintain physical health. Our symptoms are our psyches way of telling us that we need healing or to be made whole again. True and lasting healing occurs when we treat the “whole” person, which includes bodies, minds and souls as interrelated and not as disjointed parts that need fixing. Therefore, living in harmony means to live in a manner that we do not injure ourselves, nor others through divisive thoughts, deeds or actions. We are at one within ourselves and with others.
It is not possible to stay in a positive state of mind all the time, as our minds, thoughts and emotions fluctuate from moment to moment due to events that occur in life. The problem arises when one becomes fixed on a particular negative state of mind, such as fear, anger or hopelessness. If we become angry or depressed and remain that way for a long period of time, the body will be inundated with injurious chemicals. True health requires us to be able to pass through many emotions and their attendant chemicals, within a moments demand, and return to a more centered functioning, in which the chemicals are balanced and ready to move in a positive direction. The ancient traditions of meditation and prayer, as well as the more modern forms of psychotherapy are designed to help in this regard. When we are able to return to our centers, we are once again in harmony with our soul’s intention. We return to the natural state of wellbeing, in which, peace predominates. We are once more in tune with, ourselves, our cells and all of life.
Separation from the soul:
Dr. Akther Ahsen, with whom I work closely, is the leading theoretician in the field of Eidetic Image Psychology. Eidetic Imagery treats symptoms through studying the links between one’s thoughts, emotions, personal histories and physiology. Since body, mind and soul are seen as one congruent whole, true healing occurs when all parts are brought together and unified. Dr. Ahsen states, “The soul is the center of the body . This is from where all the health rises. When life first begins, body and soul are in unison. Then, through life stresses, they become separated. This stress disturbs the natural chemicals in the body. The very idea that the soul does not exist causes a problem in creating rationality, which alienates the body from the mind and soul. When people become overly rational, they separate from their deeper sensibilities and try to force things. This force creates reactivity in the body. Then the person receives a resentful cooperation from their bodies, with increasing weakness. There is a feeling of loss that they cannot overcome. The soul is an invisible gene that you can’t see but has everything in it. It is the seed that contains all the genetic information we need to flourish. How does that infinitesimal thing that you cannot see with the naked eye have all the knowledge of everything in it? It is a wonder.”
Accessing chemicals of the soul:
Ultimately, to have total health is to live with a sense of love and
compassion for ourselves and others. It is to deeply recognize the oneness within our own selves and our oneness with all humanity. The great sages have always taught that “we are one mind and one body”, meaning both within ourselves and one with the world. No matter what our station in life, we all share the same desire for happiness and peace. When we see others as separate from ourselves, and we live in a consciousness of “me” first, we create a divided state of mind in which the negative chemicals of fear, paranoia, and selfishness predominate. Our bodies, minds, and souls close down. Our hearts, endocrine systems, and other physiological functions respond in kind, ultimately affecting our health. When we see others as real human beings, not only our families and close friends, but strangers, such as a cashier who is checking us out, and we experience regard for them even love, and have a kind word for them, we are filled with the chemicals of the soul. These chemicals full of joy, love, kindness, peace, and ecstasy contain the ultimate healing elixirs for the body. We are at one within and with the world. This is called total health.
Chemicals of the Soul Image
In interacting with others, our bodies, minds and souls are involved in every transaction with every person we engage with. Every interaction has a consequences of increase or loss of health based on our attitude and behavior. We enhance our health and well being by creating love and good feelings and we loose it by creating discord and chaos.
As you read the instructions below, alow the images to form in your mind’s eye and notice how you feel.
1. See that you are at a store buying something from a cashier.
2. See how you naturally feel towards the cashier? Neutral, open or closed? These are your body feelings while deaing with the cashier.
3. See that you are interacting with the cashier, and also waiting for the response. What is your mind and body state?
4. Waiting for the cashier to respond is waiting for a cue which affects your body in some way. You are in a receptive state of expectation. How do you feel? How is your body?
5. See that the cashier is also in a state of expectation regarding you. You have the power to affect the outcome of your interaction.
6. Think of the cashier as an extension of your own self. See you touch the cashier with good feelings in some way. How do the cashier respond to you in the image?
7. Do you notice the difference in your body when you approach the cashier with positive feelings? This is how you create well being.